Rep. Ronnie Peterson continued in his efforts to broaden the horizons for the youth of the 54th House District by hosting Michigan State Police Director, Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, at Ypsilanti Community High School on June 7. Col. Etue addressed a group of more than 50 students interested in a potential career in law enforcement.

The colonel spoke frankly about the need for more diversity among recruits at the State Police Trooper School. She explained how she overcame some of her own personal challenges as a female in a male dominated profession. She took questions from the kids and was keen to explain that police and community relations are best when the police force is populated by officers from their own community.

The hour-long event also featured a presentation by Joyce Nelson VanMeter who explained how the kids’ career paths could begin right around the corner at the police academy training facility at Washtenaw Community College.

Rep. Peterson, who recently hosted a similar event at YHS featuring University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, was excited by the colonel’s stop in Ypsilanti. “I was born in Ypsilanti and have lived here all of my life,” Rep. Peterson said. “I am proud to have worked in the plant, but I want our children to know that there are also plenty of other opportunities for them. President Schlissel and Col. Etue did a great job of inviting our kids to explore their possibilities and to dream big. I thank them for their time and their positive message.”

Rep. Peterson has high hopes — and already several firm commitments — to expand his VIP Visits program for the coming school year.